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5 things you must do to win an overseas scholarship

Hello scholarship warriors 💪

We hope you’re doing well and are in high spirits! 

Getting an international scholarship might sound impossible.but there are actually a lot of opportunities out there! We’ve listed some of them in our article Top 10 scholarships and exchange programs for Indonesian SMP & SMA students and Top 10 overseas scholarships for Indonesian students

Now, how do we actually prepare for these scholarships? 🤔

Well, you’ve come to the right place! Today, we will share some practical tips that you can do to boost your chances of getting a scholarship! 

Starting with tips number one… 

1. Join your school or university’s student organisations

Join student council, debate team, or any other active organisations in your school or university or even in your neighbourhood!

Why, you ask?

Nearly every international scholarship available requires its applicants to have some degree of leadership skills as usually scholarship recipients are also required to be “the face” of the school/university to some degree. Joining and being active in an organisation can certainly help you in this matter. 

Want to take it one step further? Start your own organisation!

If it sounds overwhelming, you can also do a one-off event, such as organising a fundraiser event for a cause that you’re passionate about, such as fundraising for women empowerment or collecting books for children in rural communities with little to no access to quality education. 

Doing good to the world while simultaneously boosting your chances to win a scholarship, now that’s a win-win! 

2. Make an effort to get stellar references 

A lot of scholarships ask for references. So, spend time and effort to get some great ones! Some scholarships might accept personal references (e.g., from family or friends) but most require professional references. You can ask your teacher, professor, or employer to be your reference. 

Demonstrate that you are a capable student/employee who goes above and beyond to fulfil your responsibilities and are willing to take initiatives. 

Make sure you have asked for their permission before listing them as your references. You can ask “Do you feel comfortable providing me with a good reference?” 

When someone agrees to be your reference, provide them with all the information they need to give you a positive reference, namely:

  • Overview of the scholarship – what kind of scholarship is it? What do they focus on? What kind of candidates are they looking for? This will help them determine which skills and passions of yours they should highlight 
  • Prepare an updated resume so they have a complete information about your experiences and achievements 
  • Tell them if there is anything in particular you’d like them to highlight 
  • For references in the form of letter (letter of recommendation), let them know where to submit the letter and when the deadline is 

Of course, don’t forget to thank them for their time and notify them if you get accepted, and thank them again! Maintaining a good relationship is never a bad thing!

3. Show your uniqueness and passions 

A lot of scholarships ask for personal essays/personal statements or motivation letters. They are all essentially the same thing. Basically, it’s a mini essay that states your reason for applying for that specific scholarship. 

This is your chance to really shine! AVOID plagiarising. Even just copying one sentence can be counted as plagiarism. Don’t ask anyone to write your personal essay for you either. Aside from the obvious (it’s a violation of academic integrity!) no one really knows you like you know yourself. 

You also have to avoid cliches. Let’s be honest, cliches are boring. But more than that, cliches make you lose your uniqueness – your writing will be interchangeable with anybody else’s. Moreover, using cliches will make you lose credibility – the reader will be hard-pressed to see you as a credible person if you can’t find a better way to describe yourself or your experience. 

So, write what is true to yourself, show what makes you you, and stands out from the rest! 

4. Get your grades up 

Not all scholarships require you to have an outstanding grade, but many of them do. And let’s be honest, even if they don’t, having good grades will certainly improve your chances. 

Recognize which subjects you can improve on and dedicate time and effort to improving your grades in these subjects. Seek help from your peers, teachers, and if your school or university offer tutoring services, definitely use them! 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to be a straight A student across all subjects (though that definitely doesn’t hurt!) but consistent good grades will definitely aid you in your scholarship application! 

5. Brush up your English 

Being fluent is definitely a major key to winning a scholarship! 

A lot of overseas scholarships require you to pass some sort of English fluency test, usually IELTS. 

Not only that, as we mentioned, a lot of scholarships also require you to submit a personal essay. Of course, you have to make sure that your essay has impeccable grammar, use a wide range of vocabulary, and as mentioned above, does not contain cliches! 

In addition, a lot of scholarships also require you to sit through an interview as part of the selection process. This means that not only do you have to have perfect written English, you also have to be able to speak English with confidence and fluency too! 

Of course, since you’re going to do your study, which includes attending your classes, writing essays, and giving presentations all in English, it’s quite logical that you would need to sharpen your English skills. 

But don’t worry, we are to help! Call us to see how we can help you with your goals. From IELTS preparation to academic writing and interview practice, we can help you be better prepared for your scholarship application. We also have career-specific English courses such as English for business and English for medicine. 

Summary 

There are a couple of things you can do to boost your chances of getting an overseas scholarship. Remember, the important thing is to be determined and keep applying! We wish you the best of luck on your scholarship quest and we hope you find this article helpful! 

Next steps 

Do you want to speak English with confidence?

Most people lack confidence when they speak English. They are afraid to make mistakes and are embarrassed to speak in front of others. 

This is because they have been taught English the wrong way!

Most English courses waste your time and money on useless exercises that don’t bring results. Even worse, they teach you bad habits that are very difficult to unlearn. 

As a result, you become confused and lack confidence. This is wrong!

At IELC, we teach English the right way

Our goal is to get you speaking in English with fluency and confidence as fast as possible. We want to give you the skills you need to fulfill your potential!

Our experienced teachers will guide you along every step of the learning process to ensure that you are not wasting your time, money, and energy on useless language exercises & wrong methods.

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No matter what your goals are, our team will help you achieve these goals by providing you with Indonesia’s best English courses!

Talk to our team today to get your FREE consultation and take your first step towards success.

Sincerely,

Anthony McCormick,

IELC Managing Director